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Old 02-02-2020, 03:54 PM   #44
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics

Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The DHC-2 is/was well-known as being an extremely reliable and capable plane in its class, and it's pretty much the plane everyone had or wanted for wilderness work in places like Canada. While there were a fair number made, it's nothing like the number of An-2s of all kinds that were made and are still flying. FWIW, a DHC-2 probably has lower operational costs, but the repair bills if it breaks will be higher. An-2s are not particularly economical on fuel (or oil, for that matter). Also, the An-2 is not a quiet aircraft - you're never going to be selling luxury rides in it, no matter how nice the seating is.
From a real-world economics point of view, Kessler's requirements are low on flying time and work, high on time spent being on call for an immediate alert (well, within an hour / six hours). They won't be doing anything close to a regular passenger service; in the air all day for as many days a year as possible.

So it's probably fine if the An-2s are wasteful of fuel when they are in actual use, as the low cost of surplus aircraft allows keeping several spare craft near potential trouble spots, which seems like a fair tradeoff.

From a scene-setting RPG point of view, the loud and primitive nature of the An-2 is truly excellent.

Edit: Ballpark figures for operating costs; ca $400/hour for An-2s and ca $725/ hour for DHC-2 Beavers. Yeah, the Beavers are really expensive and also more expensive to operate... but, on the other hand, can be certified for commercial operation by the FAA, unlike the An-2.

Now, I'm not going to state outright that pressure from US aircraft manufacturers led to the An-2 being restricted to 'Experimental' FAA certification in the US, to avoid flooding the market in the 90s with dirt-cheap competition, but I'll just note that I found a lot of discussion on that subject online and a lot of people who do believe it.

In any case, for registration as a charter aircraft in a Caribbean nation where An-2s can be certified for that sort of thing, the An-2 seems hard to beat. But as Kessler needs to base some shoort-range amphibious transport planes in the US, without having them be easily tracable to him, he also needs the DHC-2 Beavers.

Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The DHC-6 is probably good for all of that, the DPC-2 might look a bit low-rent for the VIP junkets. It depends on what the interior decor is, I expect - real leather seats, nice carpet, and a mini-bar go a long way in selling an aircraft as 'executive' rather than 'bush plane'.
Again, this makes sense both in in-setting terms and RPG meta terms. If you're spending $500,000+ on a DHC-6 Twin Otter, leather seats, nice carpets and a swanky bar aren't all that expensive extras in comparison. And for me as a GM, I want the available aircrafts to be as distinct and full of character as possible.

The loud Soviet transport vs. the Golden Age of Travel old-school elegance of a well-appointed DHC-6 suits me just fine.

That being said, the aircraft fleet of Antilles Air Boats was in storage in the mid-80s, just as Kessler was setting up his logistics. A few Grumman Goose G21As or JRFs and even potentially a Short S.25 Sandringham 4 might have been available cheap from a failing airline operating on the islands where Kessler spent at least a third of the year.

So I think he'd have purchased a couple, at least.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-05-2020 at 05:01 PM.
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